Mental health evaluation:
- In the first few sessions, the focus is on screening for mental health disorders and understanding the client’s (or parents’) main concerns.
- The initial evaluation is done by interviews, observation, and behavior rating scales.
- Sometimes parents, teachers, and/or significant others are asked to provide information about the client.
- Allow up to 90 minutes for the first appointment. Subsequent appointments are scheduled for 60 minutes.
- For clients under age 13, the parent(s) attend the first session alone. The child is asked to attend the second appointment.
- For clients 13-17, the parent(s) and teen determine who attends the first session.
- Online rating forms (ASEBA instruments) are completed.
- Diagnostic feedback and treatment recommendations are shared with client/parents when the evaluation is complete (typically by the end of the 2nd or 3rd appointment).
- Cognitive or psycho-educational testing (for diagnosing intellectual and learning disorders) is not a service I provide.
- My work is primarily rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – a form of psychotherapy with strong scientific evidence for safety and effectiveness for mental health problems.
- Our work together is aimed at helping clients/parents make changes that improve their lives. I provide coaching in CBT strategies, support and encouragement for doing therapy “homework” between sessions, and opportunities for in-session practice of various skills.
- We establish and monitor progress toward goals for changing patterns of thinking, behaving, and responding to emotions.
- Sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes. Most clients attend every 1-2 weeks for 3-12 months.
- For children 5-12, the parent and child attend sessions together.
- For adolescents 13-17, we decide together (during the evaluation phase), whether parent, teen, or both will attend sessions.
- Meeting every 1-2 weeks with parent(s), alone, to work on ways they can support the child’s progress toward therapy goals, OR
- Meeting occasionally (for example, every 3-4 months, or as-needed), to monitor progress after a course of psychotherapy